First Post, and my tale of woe [Archive] - Forum


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05-31-2008, 04:06 PM
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here, glad to see a place this specific to the GT for owners to trade info.

Anyways, lemme give a little history on my car. I bought the car used (3.4L V6 2000 Grand AM GT 2 door) in December of 2005 from Scap Chrysler after an unfortunate incident on the highway with my 02 Grand AM SE which left that car destroyed. The GT had 13,000 miles on it (it sat in some guys garage as a weekend toy) and was pristine, for a while at least. About a year into ownership, she started to leak through the doors... badly.. I would go out after a rain storm and she'd have up to an inch of water in the rear passenger and occasionally the rear driver foot pans. I tried a variety of self fixes including armor all-ing the seals and eventually I taped the passenger door shut with gaffers tape during heavy rains. About 3 months ago I brought her in to G&J Pontiac (dealer associated with the Scap dealer I bought it from) to have the leaking diagnosed, I also needed a headlamp, fog lamp, and tail light replaced.

They replaced the door water deflectors and all 3 lights and upon my arrival to pick the car up, I noticed that the instrument cluster backlights were dead and that my AC no longer worked. I took it back the next day and they took the doors apart again to see if they created a short that was blowing the fuse, no dice. The tech opened up the Transaxle Shifter part of my center console, played around with some crap in there and lo and behold the INST LPS fuse stopped blowing. For about 20 minutes - after I had left again.

I burned through about 15 fuses just getting back and forth to work before I just stopped replacing the fuse and learned to drive at night without being able to see my gauges (this went on for a few weeks).

So then I found you guys and decided to grab a service manual and give it a go myself in finding this short. I pulled the Panel Dimmer Switch and reseated the connector and managed to drive around for 40 mins with the lights working before it blew out the next time I tried to use the car.

So the problem was not fixed by that, and in fact the fuse was now only lasting between 3 and 5 minutes, sometimes less.

That brings us to today, where I went to Autozone hoping to pick up a new dimmer switch, but they dont stock them.

In the parking lot, I decided, ok lets remove some variables from my troubleshooting. So I unhooked the fog lamp switch, and opened the center radio cluster and disconnected the hazard switch, ETS, and lighter plug. So far so good...

Then I decided to reconnect the hazard after I realize my turn signals wont work without it. Here is where crap starts to go sour..

At this point I leave Autozone and go get some lunch, only to realize my daytime running lights are stuck on.

So back to Autozone I go (nice open parking lot to work in) and start checking the switches and fuses and the like. I finally decide to just put everything back together and after putting the center console back together and starting the car, the instrument cluster goes completely dead with the exception of turn signals and the fog lamps and switch appear to be dead too.

That brings me here , especially since I dont know how hot the thing is running now, and when I opened the hood to check the underdash fuse box the engine felt way hotter than usual and I nearly burnt myself on the hood lift bar. I then turned her back on and saw my radiator fans not starting.... not good.

Any thoughts? I'm scared to use the car until at least I know i'm not going to fry my engine.

Thanks for any input.. I should be around, as I cant really go anywhere can I? :P


05-31-2008, 04:33 PM
Maybe its an issue with the body control module? Obviously you've been checking wiring and controls, I assume you've checked relays too?

05-31-2008, 05:41 PM
My first question is this...the fuses that are burning out, are they in the same fuse box?

If it is just one fuse box that holds all the fuses that are burning out, have you checked the ground going to that box?

05-31-2008, 06:31 PM
The INST LPS fuse was the original problem with the intrument cluster backlighting, but the IPC/HVAC blew when I put the center console back together, but replacing that fuse didnt bring back my cluster controls (fuel, speed, tach, and temp) so it looks like the actual cluster module burnt out. Not sure what to do about it...

05-31-2008, 10:44 PM
the cluster lamps go through a dimmer module located on a bar under the steering wheel, it looks like a little box with a 5 or 6 wire plug on it. this may be part of the problem.

06-01-2008, 11:32 AM
gectek, the cluster lamps were the initial problem and having checked the wiring diagrams that does seem like a probable cause for that part, but in trying to diagnose it i think i either blew the actual cluster and/or the BCM.

What gets me really nervous is that it's quite a hot day and when I turned it over, my radiator fans don't seem to run which worries me that I blew the BCM in the process. Anyone know which relays and fuses drive the fans?


06-01-2008, 01:19 PM
Addendum: Just ran her over to Autozone and had them hook up their OBD-2 scantool and the thing wouldnt even scan...

Is there a surefire way for me to know if my radiator fans are still ok? I know they are on a temp sensor (as per other threads) but do I just sit and wait? I would have absolutely no way of knowing if my engine was overheating.

Thanks for any input guys,


06-01-2008, 02:35 PM
I think it may be time to do the inevitable...take it to a GM stealership.

06-01-2008, 02:36 PM
rats... the gm dealer is the one that blew out the cluster lighting in the first place while fixing the doors...

06-01-2008, 03:00 PM
I would take it to the dealership,too. Go to a different dealership! Tell them what's been going on tell them about the dealership you bought the car from,find out if it'll be covered under any warranty,be mr.niceguy don't try and be a hard a$$ it always seems better if your nice to them, they should help you to the best of there ability! other than that i have no idea! never really had any problems with lights except for my radio lights burning out just learned to deal with it until i swapped in the monsoon stereo!

06-02-2008, 02:31 PM
Well, took her to a local mechanic that specializes in electrical work and damn good thing. They found that my heater control wiring had ignited at some point... yeesh.

$450 for the fix but at least i wont be on fire while driving ;)

Thanks for everyone's input on this.